Processing slower or more to think about?

How FAST can you sift & sort?

Intro by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part THREE of the Brain-Based Processing Series

How fast can you FILTER? 

THAT is the question.

CLICK HERE for Part I: ABOUT Processing Speed
CLICK HERE for Part II: Processing Efficiency


EFD: TBI & ADD (and more!)

There are a great many disabilities that are manifestations of Exectutive Functioning Disorder [EFD] – some inborn, and some acquired subsequently.

Some EF struggles are a consequence of damage to the frontal cortex, others are a consequence of another disease or disorder and its impact on hormones or glucose metabolism — or anything that has an effect on the neurotransmitter balance in the Prefrontal Cortex [PFC].

With Exectutive Functioning Disorders, whether inborn or acquired subsequently, the filtering and focusing areas of the brain not operating well.

The resulting difficulty sorting out incoming stimuli, leads to problems with attention and focus, impulsivity, distractibility and follow-through, disorganization and decision-making, as well as low frustration tolerance leading to anxiety, short-fuses, and other mood and “conduct” problems.

Wikipedia puts it this way:

Executive function is an umbrella term for cognitive processes such as planning, working memoryattention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, multi-tasking, and initiation and monitoring of actions.[citation on Wiki]

The PFC and Dopamine

You will see the name of this particular neurotransmitter in connection with a great many functions. Effective dopamine production appears to be necessary for reward-motivation, focus, and for the recombination of facts and factors in ways that result in clear decisions.

Faulty dopamine metabolism is implicated in quite a few disorders, depending on whether it is produced in greater or lesser supply than “normal,” and where the dopamine secreting neurons operate. One of the places in the brain where a great number of the dopamine-producing neurons are located is the PFC.

Even though cognition is a distributed process, we speak of the prefrontal cortex as responsible for the brain’s executive functions, including filtering incoming stimuli
(from the senses, as well as cognitive information), sequencing, and focusing on relevant stimuli, filtering out irrelevent.

The PFC and Processing Efficiency

Processing efficiency is essentially a measure of how well and how quickly the brain organizes information, which impacts our ability to focus on the important while ignoring the unimportant or  less important. It also considers how effectively the brain can shift from one activity or stimulus to another.

Future articles in this series will continue to explore this idea, but in THIS article, I am going to turn the platform over to a TBI advocate to further illuminate the importance of concepts of processing speed and processing fluency to YOUR day-to-day functioning (as well as the impact to your sense of Self and self-esteem, or that of your loved ones).

I want you to read what HE has to say about dealing with the after-effects of Traumatic Brain Injury [or, as many say, brain damage] — his own processing speed aha! 

I couldn’t say it better!

If you haven’t read the TBI Posts:
Lessons from the TBI Community
and Gathering the Tribe,
you might want to go there first.


Even though I want you to consider the following first-person article as a “reblogged” Part 3 to
The Brain-Based Processing Series, I’m not crazy about the screwy formatting quirks of the WordPress reblog function. (Many of you with ADD or NVLD won’t be able to deal with it and stay tracked on the content.)

Sooooo . . . you CAN get there from here!
You can read his article on his very own blog — right NOW.

You will find the link to his site in the “grey box” below the attributions and above the Related Links.

Once there, take time to read the comments too (at the bottom of the article).
Take advantage of some of that “hateful” anecdotal report —  it will be some
time yet before science proves what we’re figuring out!

Stay tuned – there’s A LOT more to explore about Processing Fluency
on the way to
learning to drive the very brain you were born with™
(even if it’s taken a few knocks in the meantime).

AS ALWAYS, if you’d like notification about additional posts in this series (or any other), give your name and email to the nice form at the top of the skinny column to your right. (If you’ve done this for another series, you’re good to go!  You only need to do this once.) Stringent NO SPAM policy.

*ATTRIBUTION & gratitude: 
black box graphic courtesy of
Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons License
turtle running tired is

Part 3 will open in a new window or tab (depending on your browser settings) — you don’t have to remember to come “back” for more links or to review this article – it will still be right here.

Brain-based Processing Series, Part 3:
I’m not necessarily slower – I just have more to think about

Related Content here on

Related Content around the ‘net

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

9 Responses to Processing slower or more to think about?

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  8. philippinewanderer says:

    Hi Madelyn, this is a terrific and informational website, thanks for providing. I’ve read pieces because I always feel that I must rush to the next thing and that I am spending too much time in one area. Case in point…I began writing today with words for another post, and then I got sidetracked and somehow arrived at your page. I will be back; I bookmarked it!

    I am a TBI survivor from an auto accident that occurred in 1988. I prayed for death many times throughout the nearly 25 years. But nine years ago I was blessed with a wonderful daughter whom I have raised since birth really and am doing so without help.

    I continue to get mixed up and just like now, I sat down again after getting up to check on something I just remembered, but alas, I once again forgot something at the store. I did not forget to purchase the item, but I didn’t take it with me after I was checked out with my groceries. I seem to do that more now, than I ever did.

    At any rate nice site, and now I must go get another post written or started before leaving to pick my daughter up from school.


    • WELCOME!! Thanks for your comment – I’ve been to your blog too, and left a quickie comment (see your “like” on the top of my RECENT LIKE blogroll – right column – scroll DOWN)

      Distractibility is my own personal challenge with ADD – unlike you, however, I can’t say “worse” or “better” – its just what’s SO for me. I have learned some work-arounds that *help* – but no “intervention” works for everything or every one. We can only share, tweak and share our tweaks.

      I believe that we are the way we are because our life-path and reason for being on this earth includes lighting the way for others. True? Who knows? But it sure is a better frame of mind than “poor me,” huh?

      lol on the groceries – wish I could say that *I’ve* never done that – but I’d have to lie!

      Love YOUR blog, btw. blown AWAY by your story!



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